Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key dates students should know?

All important dates can be found in the academic calendar located on the web site at or the events calendar at Reminders of important dates can also be found on BVU News: Important academic dates to be aware of are the final date to drop/add, final date to change grading system, mid-term and other breaks, finals schedules and the last days of the semester.

What does this mean to you?
There are so many things going on here at BVU and it is up to you to make sure you know about it. Use all of your resources to find out what is going on. The BVU website is a great place to go, but professors, staff, your RA and others on campus can give you the scoop as well.

What tips can you give me that will help me succeed in college?

  1. Go to class. It may seem simple, but class attendance is the number one reason students fail to succeed in their classes.
  2. Be prepared in class. Do your work, read the class material, participate in class discussions and take the time to study and know the material.
  3. Get your books. Some students have tried to get by without getting their textbooks and many of them have found it to be very difficult to do well in the course without the right material.
  4. Get help when you need it; don’t wait. Buena Vista University has many resources to help students succeed including professors that are willing to help students outside of class. Make sure you take advantage of these resources right away. The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is a great resource students need to become familiar with right away because getting help through the CAE can make the difference between doing okay and doing great.

What does this mean to you?
These things may some easy and may make you say, “duh”, but you would be surprised how many students who should know these things don’t do them. And when they don’t do them it can lead to real problems. The bottom line is you are here to be a student. Make sure you are taking all the right steps to put your studies at the top of your priorities!

What if I am really sick or have an emergency where I need to miss class?

You need to make every attempt to go to class, but if an emergency does come up you need to notify your professor right away. If it is a health concern, it is advised that you meet with Health Services on campus. They can help you get the right care you need and can also notify your professors of the emergency. If it is a personal or family emergency, you should contact Student Services and your professors.

What does this mean to you?
Professors will be a lot more understanding of your predicament if you have proof of your illness or emergency from Health Services or Student Services. You may not believe this, but some students have actually made up excuses about why they were not in class- crazy, huh? So you can’t blame the professor for being a little cynical at times. If you really are sick or have an emergency, it shouldn’t be any sweat to get proof anyway.

What happens if I stop going to class?

Attending class is one of the most important things you can do to become engaged and be successful in your classes. Although attendance policies are determined by each instructor, it is important to make attending all of your classes all the time a high priority. In many cases, faculty will notify administration if a student stops attending a class altogether. The student will likely be contacted by someone to figure out what is going on and what needs to be done to improve the situation. If a student makes no effort to go to a class at all the University can administratively withdraw a student from that class. If a student is withdrawn from a class and goes below full-time status (12 credit hours), he/she will be removed from the residence halls, lose financial aid or no longer be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

What does this mean to you?
Going to class is the most important thing you can do to be a successful student. You pay a lot of money per class so when you do not go you end up throwing away a good deal of money so attending class is both a smart academic and financial decision.

Who do I go to if I have questions or concerns about:

  • Financial hardship situations? Office of Financial Assistance, Business Office or Office of Student Success
  • Computer not working? 2FIX Help Desk
  • Emergency Loans? Business Office
  • Homesick? Campus Counselor
  • Roommate Trouble? Resident Advisor (RA), Resident Director (RD) or Director of Residence Life & Housing
  • Help with classes? Professor or Center for Academic Excellence (CAE)

What does this mean to you?
One thing you need to know about BVU is that we are a place with lots of people who care and want to help. You need to make the first move to ask for that help, but once you do we are going to do everything we can to be there for you. Get to know all of the resources here and take advantage of them!

How do I know how I am doing in my classes?

The best way to know how you are doing is to talk regularly with your professors.
Many professors also post grades on the ANGEL system. You can also view your mid-term grades through Campus Connect.

What does this mean to you?
Don’t assume how you are doing- ask or look it up. If you don’t feel like you are doing well- go to your professor. Taking the time to meet with them lets them know you care. Once you show you care about your success, you can believe they are going to give you that extra help you will need to turn things around… but don’t wait until it is too late; seek out your professors early and often.

What is the official form of communication on campus?

The University has identified email as the official form of communication on campus. It is an expectation on this campus that students will use email to communicate with faculty, staff and other students in an effective, appropriate and timely manner.

What does this mean to you?
You may not love email, but if you do not check your BV email account regularly, you could miss out on some important information. Faculty, staff, and administration use email regularly to communicate with students so make sure you get in a habit of checking your BV account everyday… and responding!

How do I find out what’s going on around campus?

Information on activities, events and important reminders can be accessed through BVUNews, which is sent electronically twice per week (Mondays and Thursdays) through campus email and can be accessed on the homepage of the BVU web site. You can also find out what is going on by accessing the campus calendar and keeping your eyes out for posters that are displayed all over campus.

What does this mean to you?
I didn’t know about that is never a good excuse on this campus because the information   is always at your fingertips. Do not rely on your professors, fellow students or others on campus to get you the information. Go and find it for yourself!

What is interim? What options do I have? Do I need to participate?

Interim is the 3 week period in January where students have the option of taking a class on campus, participating in an internship or going on a University-sponsored trip. Students need to sign up early for the trips and the trips do have an additional cost associated with them. First-year students are required to participate in January interim, but it is optional after that. However, there is no additional charge for being enrolled in the Interim term, other than costs associated with trips and internships, so it is a good idea to take advantage of this time to take a class you may never have done before, travel somewhere warm or get real-world experience. Students must be enrolled in interim in order to reside in University housing during interim.

What does this mean to you?
Free classes, great opportunities, real life experience.

Where do I go to get information about internships?

Internships are an important step on your way to preparing yourself for success in your chosen career. Although you must be a junior standing to take an internship for credit, you should start searching for internships as early as your freshmen and sophomore years. The Office of Career Services and your professors can be great resources to assist you in finding the right internship for you. For more information, check out the career services internship web site at:  

What does this mean to you?
A quality internship experience could be the difference between you or the other guy landing that first big job. Start thinking about that ultimate internship and go for it! You will be glad you did!

How do I find out how many ACES events I still need?

The Academic & Culture Events Series (ACES) is an important component in a well-rounded education from BVU. There are numerous ACES events offered each semester and students are required to attend eight per semester (2 Signature events, 4 Scholarly events, 1 Student Life event, and 1 Event of choice. You can find out how many ACES events you still need to attend by going to the ACES web site:

What does this mean to you?
World class performers and great speakers come to campus and you get to go for free and get college credit for it. Your friends will be jealous when they hear what you got to see right here at BV.

What is the MAP-Works survey? How can it help me?

The MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) survey is a survey that students will complete four times during the year (3 weeks and 10 weeks into each semester). The results of the survey will be used by faculty and staff to help students identify and address areas of strength and need concerning academic preparation, social integration, and financial management. Having this information will allow us all to work together to make sure students are on the path to success.

What does this mean to you?
MAP-Works provides you and your advisor with awesome information in an interactive format. You get to see how your answers stack up with other college students and other BVU students and you can come up with strategies to help you get all you can out of your college experience.

Commuter Students

How do I get involved on campus when I don’t live on campus?

It is important that you get involved in campus life even if you are not living on campus. The university provides free lunches to commuters once per month and uses this time to notify you of important things you need to know about campus. The Underground, located in the basement of Smith Hall, is a great place for commuter students to gather in between classes, study and hang out. The University also welcomes commuters to get involved in campus organizations, attend campus events and take advantage of all of the resources that the University has to offer.

What does this mean to you?
It is sometimes tougher to get involved on campus when you don’t live here. BVU wants to make sure you feel like part of the BVU Community so come to the events, take advantage of the resources and participate in all that BVU has to offer.